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1100 - 1328 AGE OF THE TOSAFISTS (France)

The name given to the descendants of Rashi. They added to, and reconciled his works with seeming contradictions in the Talmud, using many cross references to similar topics in other sections of the Talmud. Various schools studied and compiled these works. Each work was named after the school in which it was compiled, e.g. Tosafot Averu for the school of Moses of Evereux, etc.

1100 - 1135 REIGN OF HENRY I (England)

Henry I granted a charter to Jews which allowed freer settlement, seeing it as a way to increase revenues.

1100 - 1171 (4 Tamuz 4931) JACOB BEN MEIR (France)

Rabbenu Tam (Rameru, France). Youngest and most famous of the three grandsons of Rashi, and the most renowned of the Tosafists. He also studied Hebrew verse, wrote liturgical prayers and exchanged poems with Ibn Ezra. He convened a council of sages in which 150 Rabbis participated. The council was held in the shadow of the Second Crusade. He lived through and described the Second Crusade and the burning of Jews at Blois, France. His nephew and student, Rabbi Isaac (the Ri), took his place when he died.

1100 MAHZOR VITRY (France)

Was composed by Simha ben Samuel of Vitry(d.1105), one of Rashi's students. His son Samuel married Rashi's granddaughter and he was the grandfather of the famous Tosafists, Isaac of Dampierre (the RI).The mahzor not only includes the prayers, rituals and customs for both daily and holiday prayers, but also laws of the Sabbath, marriage, etc. It became an important reference work.

1100 July 25, HAIFA (Eretz Israel)

Jewish residents joined with the Fatimids of Egypt in defending the city. Tancred, who unsuccessfully attacked Haifa, was reprimanded for his lack of success and told that he made "a mockery of the God of the Christians." Once the city fell, the remaining Jews were massacred by the crusading forces.

1102 OBADIAH (Italy-Byzantine Empire-Persia-Egypt)

(Originally Johannes son of Dreux), a Norman Priest from Oppido Lucano Italy, decided to convert to Judaism. Believing that his life would not be safe if he stayed in Italy, he fled to Constantinople, then to Baghdad, and eventually to Fostat. He compiled a mahzor prayer book with musical notations similar to that used in Gregorian chant. He wrote his autobiography known as the Obadiah Scroll.

1103 January, HENRY IV (Germany)

Concluded a treaty in which the local Lords and Bishops promise for the next four years to protect "...laymen, merchants, women (lest they be raped) and Jews." Although on the surface it seemed to be a positive move, in reality it made the Jews more dependent on the will of the Crown and led them to a position of semi-serfdom.

1106 MARRAKESH (Morocco)

Ali, the son of Yusuf ibn Tashifin, Almoravide leader and founder of the city, decreed the death penalty for any Jews living in the city. At the same time, one of his military leaders and two of his physicians were Jewish.


Yoseph ibn Tashifin, the Almoravide ruler, ordered all Jews to convert or leave Morocco. He based this on limiting Mohammed's "tolerance" of the Jews to 500 years after the Hejira.


Followed the battle of Ucles between Alfonso VI, and the forces of the Muslim Almoravids under Tamim ibn-Yusuf, where the Christians were defeated . Many Jews were killed with houses and synagogues burned. One of those murdered was Solomon ibn Farissol (Ferrizuel), a leader of the Castile community. The incident greatly affected Judah Halevi who wrote a lamentation for him, and changed the focus of his poetry from love and friendship to Jewish honor and Zionism. The king promised to bring the perpetrators to justice, but died before he could do so.

1109 TIBERIAS (Eretz Israel)

Fell to the Crusaders. As a rule, once the military conquest ended the Jewish inhabitants were left alone. The notable exceptions were Haifa and Jerusalem (see 1099).

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